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What Do I Do Now? by Laura K Williams

posted Jul 30, 2017, 8:04 PM by Vu Nguyen
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CLASSIC POP MAGAZINE #31 (Aug 2017)
Anthem Publishing

What Do I Do Now - CLASSIC POP MAGAZINE #31 (Aug 2017)
Anthem Publishing
What Do I Do Now?
Laura K Williams

Sleeper reunion was far from inevitable. While the one time 'Queen of Britpop' Louise Wener shares her Brighton home with her bandmate husband Andy Maclure, a stone's throw away from guitarist Jon Stewart's home, they've all been focused on new projects.

Since the band split in 1998, both Andy and Jon have been teaching at the Brighton Institute of Modern Music (BIMM) and making music with the likes of Mel C and Sophie Ellis-Baxtor, while Louise has carved out a career as a successful writer, both fiction and non-fiction.

BACK IN THE GROOVE
But when Louise was approached by the organisers of Star Shaped Festival to play alongside celebration of Britpop, she decided to revisit this somewhat last part of her life. "It's almost like reaching back and taking ownership of  your past," says Louise. "It's not been part of my life for so long, I've almost lost touch with it and forgotten about it like it was some crazy gap year I had in my 20s or something, even though it was longer than that, so it's nice to reach back and connect with that.

"It feels a little bit brilliant, I have to say, people can be somewhat critical of nostalgia, like if you hark back at things you can't always look forward at the same time. The two are in conflict in some ways. But I think it's lovely to reach back and connect with that part of you. We've all done different things since and it's not like we're going to go back and have it take over our lives again, it's something we want to do for the pure joy of it."

The group (minus bassist Diid Osman, who lives in Bristol) has been doing a couple of small rehearsals each week ahead of the summer shows and Classic pop catches Louise the day after the band completed its first full-scale run through, which doesn't come without its problems.

"The challenge is rembering it all," says Louise. "It felt quite alien at first but it passed quite quickly and I'm just trying to form my fingers back into the chord shapes because I haven't played guitars for years. That feels quite awkward, then you have this muscle memory that kicks in and you think, 'God, I remember those.' I stumble over the lyrics a little bit and I'm hoping the crowd will be more on it than me. If I mess up they'll let me know, that's how the ...

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